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Locations of Gas Plants and Other Coal-tar Sites in the U.S.

THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT 

Introduction

         Connecticut, true to its New England affinity, had timber resources necessary to construct mills and the mills provided power for the industry that naturally rose to dominate the State’s economy.  David Melville, of Rhode Island, following Murdock’s lead at Birmingham, England, promoted manufactured gas to create light for a second shift of water-powered machinery and so lights came quickly to the mills, but the novelty was only sustained in town lighting after 1847, when the streets of New Haven became lit by coal gas.

         Outside the mill cities, gas lighting came at a slower pace, beginning in 1848( Fishville) just before the Civil War, and directly afterward. In 1893 the Legislature passed an act authorizing cities and other municipalities to establish gas and electric plants. As in other American States, the movement did not gain much strength in the end. Gas became regulated as a public utility in 1911 under the Public Service Commission. Gas engineers in the State amalgamated under the Connecticut Gas Association, sometime before 1927, but their greatest degree of activity and written literature is found in the Proceedings of the New England Gas Association.

         Beginning in 1911, the new European coal gas technology vertical retorts was introduced at Derby and the 1920s brought a number of utility and merchant by-product coke oven plants to the State.

         Connecticut of the 1920s was the scene of new and larger gas plants, supplanting older and less efficient works.

         The novelty of high-pressure gas distribution was appreciated here, where the tighter development of seashore and port cites began to be knit together with pipelines in 1929, with abandonment of some smaller gas plants. The especially was the case at New Haven, where the gas plant was controlled by UGI and pipelines were installed by its United Engineers & Constructors. Gas plants at Bristol, Meriden and Middletown were afterward operated only for peak shaving. UGI (Philadelphia), along with Stone & Webster (Boston) was a major player in the larger gas works of Connecticut, beginning in the 1920s.

         Most of Connecticut had been converted to natural gas by 1953.

         Even with the riverbank availability of water power, it is expected that many other former factory sites will eventually prove to have had producer gas plants, and associated PAHs, as well as some types of purification wastes should be expected. Many of these plants clustered along the Willimantic River, below Storrs.

            The state anti-pollution movement created public acts of 1915 and in 1922 the Connecticut State Health Department especially noted damaging effects of discharage of wood distillation tar liquors at East Canaan.
 

Click the blue "EPA" link below to view the
Connecticut map of the EPA 1985 Radian FMGP Report.

Click the green "Hatheway" link below to view the
Connecticut map of Professor Hatheway's research.

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